Birthday wrecks

Image credit Cake Wrecks
Images credit Cake Wrecks

Once a year, each one of the Dwarves celebrates his birthday, and apart from the fact that is makes me feel older I am pretty OK with it (the Man says I don’t have a choice).

Expectations are however pretty high here, and a company /clown / entertainer (tick the right box) is often hired to keep everyone sane -remember, winter is long and having 25 kids playing wildly in our house is NOT a good idea. I have seen it and it was scary.

Dwarf 1 being born in March we were pretty much stuck inside and had to get organized (it went well, thank you, and we still have a home).

Dwarf 2’s birthday was this month, but we postponed the party (bad parents) in the hope we could have it in the backyard. Dwarf 2 was fine with it as he considered the days between his actual birthday and the party were all birthdays for him.

The weather was rather collaborative and we forbade anyone to enter the house (there are trees in the backyard for bio breaks, eh?). We barely noticed the little monsters, everyone had a good time and there are still a couple of plants alive behind the house.

However we had asked for a lemon cake and it turned out to be raspberry-lemon, which did not prevent the kids and some adults to voraciously eat it.Image credit Cake Wrecks

No big deal for us, but check Cake Wrecks  for a good laugh.



Treasure hunt

Some things are similar on both sides of the Atlantic: the frantic and frustrating hunt parents embark on when they really need a baby sitter.

Yes, drinking a glass of champagne with my friends when the Man is trying not to kill anyone at the hospital during his night shift is a need– it prevents me from sending the Dwarves to Kazakhstan for the next 10 years (yeah, it’s a long walk back).

And sometimes the Man and I also try to go out in order to attempt to carry a normal adult conversation about exciting topics such as taxes, groceries or Dwarf 2’s upset stomach.

Part 1: The Hunt

After browsing ads, asking neighbors and friends for names or tips, putting an ad ourselves, praying, exchanging a few emails with the happy few, asking for a resume, warning references will be checked, a meeting is finally set up with the few survivors (you usually lose half the candidates in the process).

Part 2: The Interview (which usually does not involve any dictatorship except for mine).

Here again, you lose a few candidates, for different reasons:

  • some just don’t show up (someday I really need to call 911 to check on all these missing young women around me – how can you text someone “See you in 2 hours” and totally vanish, not answer phone calls or return texts afterwards?).
  • some call 30 minutes after the set interview time to ask what bus they should get on to come to our place (based on this great demonstration of your punctuality, we will of course be very relaxed to know you are going to pick up our kids after school– remind me to pack some cigarettes for the Dwarves so they can smoke a few waiting for you).

Some pass the test and get the job (parents can be pretty desperate sometimes) but a few have never been called again.

Image credit
Image credit

Please show up on time, don’t leave dirty diapers on the kitchen counter (yuk!), listen to my instructions so our 1 year old baby does not sleep with his room window wide open when it’s -12C (glad I checked), realize kids don’t only eat pasta, don’t leave YOUR dishes for us to clean when we get back, don’t tell me you are bilingual if you can’t utter a word of French (yes, we speak it at home, really, and in a spirit of revenge I will tell the Dwarves that’s the only language you know) , don’t contact me a week before starting your summer job asking to get paid for hours your are NOT working (I have to admit I admire your nerves) and maybe we will call you again.

Thanks for playing with us.


Fear and trembling

Our 6-year old Dwarf now knows how to ski, ride a bike and drive any normal adult up the walls with his questions (I dare anyone to get more creative than he is when it comes to exhausting a given topic).

He also knows how to read, which means any errand takes twice as much time as before as we need to stop to let him detail any price tag that crosses his sight.

On a regular basis, we also need to tell him to turn the light off in his room in the evening.

Recently, the Man told me he had let him read for a while because the Dwarf could not sleep.

About one hour later, and although the light was off, he started calling us, “I am scaaaaared”.

Driven by a strong maternal instinct (and the concern he would wake up Dwarf 2), I quickly went to his room.

“I cannot sleep. The book I read was reaaaally scary!”

We are renting a furnished house and to our delight the kid’s room contains enough children’s literature to open a store.

The Dwarves never mentioned Thing One and Thing Two were giving them nightmares, so I made sure Dwarf 1 had found the book in his room, which he confirmed.

Mom: “I am sure it is not so scary, and children’s books always have a happy ending. Try to sleep, now.”

Dwarf 1: “No, this book really IS too scary!”.

Mom: “What are you scared of, exactly?”

Dwarf 1: “EVERYTHING!”

Mom, not in the mood for a long philosophical discussion at 9.30 pm: “Come on, not everything is scary in a book! Are you sure you are not making it up because you don’t want to sleep? What is that book?”

Dwarf 1, about to cry, takes the book from under his pillow.

The 100 deadliest things on the planet

Mom makes a mental note to ask The Man to check the type of literature the Dwarf has picked before saying it is OK.

Family drama (grocery shopping)

Spring IS finally here at last, birds are singing and squirrels dare wandering around without risking frost bite (the same applies to human beings). We survived 2 pretty severe Canadian winters, and it’s easy now to laugh about some days that looked pretty tough at the time.

Early January 2014: we have a furnished rented house, but not much to eat.

Time to go grocery shopping.

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Image credit

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Winter gymkhana

In my world, March means more sun, birds chirping, a little bit of rain…in a word…SPRING.

It is our second year in Toronto, and just as last year, winter is hanging on here. My conclusion is that spring does not really exist here, and that the 6 months of winter are immediately followed by summer – which is fine by me, if only summer would finally get here.

I have to admit I cannot stand scarves, mittens, hats and heavy jackets anymore.

Moreover, getting the Dwarves dressed to go out in the winter takes about 20 minutes. If one is more cooperative, he ends up being ready way before his brother, and obviously complaining he is too hot inside the house. Once shipped outside, he usually comes back after 5 minutes, saying he is now cold (it seems today’s young kids can’t even play in the blizzard for a few minutes when it’s -25).

It is usually when everyone is ready and about to step out in the snow that Dwarf 2 would intervene: “I need to pee”.

After your nervous breakdown is under control (and the Dwarf’s bladder empty), you reach the front door only to find out Dwarf 1 has decided to strip as he was hot “as I told you before, mom”.

By that time you usually get a text message from a family member in Switzerland (“Could we Skype now?”) as well as a sales call trying to get you to buy a brand new electric shovel or any similar accessory you absolutely need.

Parents of young kids should get government-funded nannies to help them out in the winter.

making mom crazy